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An Interview With Artist Meera Lee Patel

Have you guys seen our new Handpainted Folding Chairs? They are by far the most adorable festival chairs I have ever seen. We worked with New-Jersey-based artist Meera Lee Patel, who hand-painted each chair with this beautiful design exclusive to Free People! I am so glad that her work was brought to my attention because it is amazing – read on for an interview with Meera and to see more of her work!


Free People Handpainted Foldout Chair

Where do you draw inspiration for your work?

I am intensely inspired by nature — flora and fauna play a huge role in my illustrations because I enjoy drawing what I am most mesmerized by. There are so many special mysteries in nature that I explore through my illustrations, infusing the inspiration directly into them, making the connection evident and tangible.

One of my favorite feelings is being in awe, stunned, unsure of my own emotions. It’s always interesting when this happens because it forces me to break down and identify the different components of this special loss, the absence of a clear feeling. I like my paintings to create that feeling in others, to make them grapple for the words before creating their own stories behind my work.


What inspired the designs you did on the chairs for Free People?

These chairs were mostly inspired by nature, along with the colors & spirit of my native India—which for me, always evoke a sense of tranquility & freedom. I wanted them to be bold, wild, and summery – evocative of this festival season.


Describe your work in three words.

Alive, spirit, heart.


What environment do you like to work/paint in?

I work best in an open space filled with light and small objects that continually remind me to create: plants, fossils, bright patterns, inspiring art, and photos of people I love.


What’s the best festival you’ve ever been to?

I drove eleven hours to Chicago a few years ago to see Cass McCombs, St. Vincent, Beach House, and a slew of other great bands at the Pitchfork Music Festival with my friend A. We biked around the city, ate falafel & ice cream, listened to music with our backs against trees. It might not be the best festival I’ve ever been to, but it’s the one I think of the most often – long nights under the summer sky and each next day stretched out invitingly in front of us.


See more of Meera’s work on her website and Etsy shop, and follow her on Twitter: @meeralee, and  Instagram: @merelymeeralee!

More creative inspiration from the BLDG 25 Blog.

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Eva -April 6, 2013, 9:25AM

beautiful work!

Kari -April 6, 2013, 10:38AM

love these works!

Kacie -April 6, 2013, 10:59AM

Wow her work is incredible. I might have to buy that wolf print, it’s gorgeous!

Tori -April 6, 2013, 11:21AM

That wolf print speaks to me. I’m definitely going to have to purchase that. Beautiful person, beautiful work!

raquel -April 6, 2013, 1:59PM

love it Meera Lee!

molly -April 6, 2013, 3:41PM

neither of those links work – etsy or her personal website.

melissa -April 6, 2013, 4:46PM

YAY Meera!!!

Jayna -April 6, 2013, 5:30PM

@molly– here’s her etsy: & here’s her website:

Alexa Sonken -April 6, 2013, 7:34PM

loving her work. beautiful!!

meg -April 6, 2013, 7:41PM

Such lovely artwork.
She is very talented.

Shelley -April 6, 2013, 9:52PM

Very whimsical and creative work! Love the birds and mandala!

Jenny Ekberg -April 7, 2013, 12:13AM

Love her work and she is insanely cute too!

Lauren Sonken -April 7, 2013, 12:35AM

I love her three words. Alive, spirit, heart. Very inspiring:)!

flowerchild -April 7, 2013, 9:57AM

Love the chair and the prints-especially the bird print. Thanks, free people, for introducing me to such an awesome artist! The links don’t work, but I was able to find her etsy site by googling her name.

Alex -April 8, 2013, 2:51PM

I’m in love with that last painting.

Erin -April 8, 2013, 4:14PM

She’s just as beautiful as her artwork!!

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